The message was clear: “There is no climate emergency.”
With those five simple words, a global network of scientists and professionals attempted to inject reasonableness and decorum into what should be a robust discussion about a complex scientific and public policy issue, but has instead degenerated into an ever more intense mud-slinging contest over the years.
People on one side of the argument dismiss their opponents as wild-eyed socialists attempting to leverage public fear and ignorance to further their political agenda. On the opposite side, people dismiss those who disagree with their supposedly settled scientific conclusions as nothing more than knowing shills or ignorant dupes of evil energy interests.
In between those extremes that are so popular with armies of public relations professionals, who shape the messages of public interest groups and professional politicians to maximum effect, are a not-so-quiet silent majority of scientists and professionals who take a more measured, reasoned view of the science when considering the supposed climate emergency some say we’re facing.
A group of 500-some scientists and professionals signed on to the “European Climate Declaration” that was released last week. This simple, short, and understandable statement proposed how analysis of any public policy issue involving complex science should be approached from a reasoned, fact-based perspective………
In a letter sent to António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, the leaders of the European Climate Declaration urged the U.N. to “follow a climate policy based on sound science, realistic economics, and genuine concern for those harmed by costly but unnecessary attempts at mitigation.”
Hundreds of scientists and professionals from 13 European nations signed on to the Declaration, supported by fellow signatories from 10 other countries outside the European Union. I was honored to be asked to be one of the signatories from the United States and most enthusiastically agreed to do so.
There is likely to be much criticism of the professional qualifications of many of the signatories, since many, like me, are not climatologists. And yet, so many people speaking out on the issue of climate change who are convinced there is a climate emergency have so little personal understanding of the science involved in the discussion.